Obesity and being overweight are linked with a cluster of metabolic and vascular disorders that have been termed the metabolic syndrome. This syndrome promotes the incidence of cardiovascular diseases that are an important public health problem because they represent a major cause of death worldwide. Whereas there is not a universally-accepted set of diagnostic criteria, most expert groups agree that this syndrome is defined by an endothelial dysfunction, an impaired insulin sensitivity and hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, abdominal obesity and hypertension. Epidemiological studies suggest that the beneficial cardiovascular health effects of diets rich in green tea are, in part, mediated by their flavonoid content, with particular benefits provided by members of this family such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Although their bioavailability is discussed, various studies suggest that EGCG modulates cellular and molecular mechanisms of various symptoms leading to metabolic syndrome. Therefore, according to in vitro and in vivo model data, this review attempts to increase our understanding about the beneficial properties of EGCG to prevent metabolic syndrome.
Keywords: EGCG; cardiovascular diseases; endothelial dysfunction; epigallocatechin gallate; green tea; metabolic syndrome.